KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Since the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) 3.0 on June 1, the Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) Ministry has received 11,802 phone calls for various forms of help, including mental health assistance, revealed its minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun.
In an exclusive interview with Berita Harian today, Rina explained the concerning statistics, which were received through the ministry’s helpline Talian Kasih, saying it showed that people require access to mental health assistance just as much as they need financial aid.
“From the moment movement control order (MCO) 3.0 was implemented on June 1 until now, Talian Kasih has received 11,802 calls. From that number, 203 were related to child abuse, domestic violence (463), inquiries about aid (1,913) and counselling services (575).
“These statistics show that people need both emotional and the right assistance so that they can continue to survive in these tough times. The lack of aid or access to psycho-social support can bring about mental issues, even more so in vulnerable families with weak support systems,” she said.
As a means to help these vulnerable groups, Rina explained that the ministry, through the Social Welfare Department (JKM), has issued RM2.2 billion in monthly assistance for 2021 compared to only RM1.8 billion per month last year.
Through JKM, the department has several financial schemes to help those in vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those living with chronic diseases, the disabled and the poor, said Rina.
For this year, from January until April, JKM has spent RM921.2 million on welfare aid to 513,745 persons, said Rina.
Apart from various public initiatives, Rina also revealed that the ministry is in early discussions with e-hailing platform, Grab Malaysia, to help ferry those in vulnerable groups to their Covid-19 vaccination appointments.
“A preliminary discussion with Grab Malaysia recently opened up a new space for strategic cooperation in strengthening the ministry’s efforts for these target groups.
“Promotional offers for transportation to vaccination centres (PPV) for the OKU (persons with disabilities) is a good initiative in ensuring that they do not encounter any difficulties getting their vaccine.
“This can be expanded to other e-hailing services, companies and conventional taxi services. Easier access to PPV will encourage OKUs to receive their vaccines, and subsequently, aid the National Recovery Plan,” she said.
In the same interview, Rina also briefly explained that JKM is working with Grab Malaysia to resolve issues of OKU owning a public service vehicle (PSV) licence for providing e-hailing services.